Leaders staying visible during a crisis – that’s natural and easy, right?
Well, my experience in working with leaders shows that the opposite is true, so if you find maintaining visibility is a challenge, you’re not alone.
In one of the most memorable examples I have come across, the Managing Director of a high profile engineering firm more or less hid!
As the crisis – a Union-led dispute – deepened, he first retreated to his office and closed his door, then the blinds on the windows to his office. He no longer went on to the shop floor and met only with the most senior leaders in his organisation.
He became the butt of the joke across the engineering site as well as ending up the leader of a resentful and cynical workforce. His reputation as a leader was in tatters long before the dispute was resolved.
To be fair, most leaders don’t disappear so obviously. But neither do they get out and about enough, spending time with people at every level in the business.
Here are the top four reasons that leaders must demonstrate visible leadership in a crisis.